Lawyers who want to help their life sciences and healthcare clients practice preventive law, in the form of quality and risk management systems and healthcare compliance teams, can benefit from learning to read and write in the language of science. My Applied Research & Writing class at Northwestern, as part of my studies for a Master of Science in Regulatory Compliance in Healthcare, is teaching me a way of writing that law school, a federal clerkship, and stints in a law firm did not. The instructor, who helps write proposals for clinical trials for a major research hospital, noted that learning how to write scientifically also teaches students how to read it. Writing an abstract for a healthcare journal article about clinical trials requires different skills from those needed to brief a case. Healthcare lawyers who can communicate with their clients – beyond the corporate legal department – will be more effective if they can read and write science. Read further >
Vice President of Strategy & Competitive Intelligence
Wolters Kluwer Global Platform Organization
John Barker is Vice President of Strategy & Competitive Intelligence in Wolters Kluwer’s Global Platform Organization. In this role, John provides strategic direction for Wolters Kluwer’s global tax, legal, and regulatory content delivery platform, Global Atlas, and shares strategic product design best practices globally across Wolters Kluwer.
John has an extensive background in professional publishing, including as a Product Manager and Executive Legal Consultant at LexisNexis, a consultant, and award-winning Account Manager for Thomson Reuters. John has appeared as a keynote speaker at multiple Law Librarian Associations, and authored more than 50 articles discussing the application of technology to the practice of law. He has served as a Special Counsel for Technology at the Indianapolis law firm of Ice Miller LLP, and had a clerkship to a U.S. Magistrate with the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
John holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, and a BA in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
Posts by John Barker
Tort liability and federal regulation incentivize medical device manufacturers to invest in “preventive law.” Ideally, spend shifts away from litigation managed by outside law firms to quality & risk management programs and professional corporate compliance departments. Medical device lawyers in law firms can benefit from focusing on preventive law. One way for lawyers to make that shift is to understand how medical device manufacturers’ quality, risk management and corporate compliance teams manage risk. We are covering this in one class I am taking at Northwestern University, as part of my studies toward a Master of Science in Regulatory Compliance in Healthcare: MSRC 435 Risk and Decision Management. Its goal is to enable students to not only study what these teams do, but also do what these teams do. As a lawyer, I fully recommend that medical device lawyers consider pursuing such a degree, or at least take a similar class. Here’s why: Read further >
I’m laser-focused on health care regulatory compliance because I am studying for a Master of Science at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies, to extend my legal background. My studies focus on the obvious laws and regulations, including the Health Information Technology for Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH Act), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The essence of regulatory compliance in health care is preventive law. I noticed that law firms have new competition, namely, (1) their corporate clients’ regulatory compliance departments; (2) consultants & startups offering advice and software solutions for one or more of the major health care laws and associated regulations; and (3) sophisticated free content and workflow tools from government agencies. Here are two ideas for health care regulatory compliance attorneys to market themselves in this new world: Read further >
On June 11-12, 2015 I attended and presented at the Business Forecasting and Innovation Forum 2015, held in downtown Chicago. Organized by the JPK Group, the forum offered 3 tracts: (1) Financial Forecasting; (2) Demand Planning & Forecasting; and (3) Strategic Market and Competitive Intelligence. My presentation was entitled “Partnerships & Collaborative Intelligence in a Multinational Corporation,” and was part of the third tract. I covered the following points about making competitive intelligence work in a multinational corporation: Read further >
A law degree, along with years of practical experience under the guidance of a wise mentor, does help prepare a person to practice law, but it does not necessarily prepare someone to master the science of regulatory compliance, particularly in health care. For that reason, I have enrolled in Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies’ Master of Science in Regulatory Compliance program (nights and weekends for 2-5 years), with a focus on health care regulatory compliance. I’ve already selected a thesis topic: integrating health care regulatory compliance (such as the content found in Wolters Kluwer Law & Business’ ComplyTrack, Compliance Suite & Health Reform KnowlEDGE Center) into clinical decision support tools used by clinicians at the point of care (such as Wolters Kluwer Health’s UpToDate & ProVation Order Sets). Of course, my thesis advisors might advise selecting another topic. I view regulatory compliance as more than just preventive law. In the context of health care, it is about achieving optimal clinical outcomes at reasonable cost while complying with regulations. Read further >
My colleague, Peter Liang, recently made a post about Google’s mobilegeddon. I’d like to contextualize it a bit more for law firms, though I’m not the first to do so. Lawyer.com observed that 46% of small firm websites and 39% of all law firm websites failed the mobilegeddon test. Lexblog’s Kevin O’Keefe cited Visibility’s report that 53% of the 350 largest law firms lack a mobile-responsive website. Law firms must care because they publish content to websites to attract the attention of their existing and potential corporate legal clients. The 2014 ABA Tech Survey reveals that 91% of attorneys use a smartphone. Some of those are certainly attorneys in corporate legal departments. Read further >
I’ve posted about the integration of social media as citing references into citation indexes, such as the CCH Citator, GlobalCite®, KeyCite and Shepard’s® Citation Service, used by lawyers and other legal professionals to determine whether a primary source of law remains valid for an argument as well as to find more relevant documents discussing that argument. In this post, I want to cover other dimensions of social media: collaboration, intelligent filtering and citator crowd wisdom. Read further >
There is a lot of friction that companies doing business in multiple countries must hire attorneys to reduce and manage data, especially since each country has its own privacy laws for retention and management of customer and employee data. Rules for advertising, marketing, selling (and collecting taxes on those sales), developing, and enhancing products can differ by country. Labor laws and policies vary by country. Don’t forget, of course, the impact of bilateral and multilateral investment treaties. Large corporations have the resources to hire expert in-house corporate legal departments and pay for services by outside counsel to manage these transaction costs. But what about smaller corporations? After all, 95% of businesses are small businesses. Many of them only have one attorney in their corporate legal departments or have none at all. Yet, like big businesses, they must import and export and manage global supply chains. So how can these smaller businesses manage the transaction costs and reduce the friction of international business? Read further >
I like Wolters Kluwer Health’s UpToDate‘s model of current awareness. Subject-matter experts in healthcare monitor articles in medical journals and results of clinical trials and incorporate into the evidence-based clinical decision support guidelines within UpToDate so that medical professionals’ decisions are truly up to date. Instead of merely presenting the most recent journal articles for reading – and there are hundreds of thousands every year – UpToDate presents a “comprehensive synthesis of the evidence.” In summary, UpToDate makes health and medical current awareness actionable. In my opinion, UpToDate is an inspirational model for current awareness for lawyers, accountants and compliance professionals. So how might UpToDate’s model of presenting practice-changing updates manifest in the tax, legal & regulatory space? Here are some examples: Read further >
Today’s professionals – accountants, lawyers, physicians, nurses, paralegals and law librarians – interact with a plethora of knowledge objects (print books, ebooks, online research databases, workflow tools linked to those research databases, and software applications). There is a tendency for each knowledge object to have a unique path of discovery, purchase and delivery. Want an ebook? Go to the estore. Want software or a research product? Call a sales rep. But Amazon’s digital engagement model offers a different way. Read further >